Après-ski is the ultimate after dinner mint to a hard day of tracking the powder and an even more festive event if it is the very last day of your ski trip. After all it’s the after party that wraps up a good skiing trip – and almost as important as the destination itself. So where to go for the best shindig in the snow? As we all know, not all resorts are created equal and when a glass of gluhwein costs you upwards of £5.00, it’s hardly the ingredients for revelry and such.
Also, you want to know where you’ll have the chance to mingle with likeminded kindred spirits. After all working hard on the slopes deserves an equal opportunity to live it up a bit afterwards. A bit like the celebrations after a good round of golf at the 19th hole – except way better – the post ski party spot deserves a hotspot billing.
Here are our top 5 favourite resorts for the very best and super festive apres ski in the world
- St Anton, Austria
The Austrian ski resorts in general have a well-earned reputation for being lovers of the post sport revelry and then some. But when it comes down to doing it proper, St Anton has been hailed as the best. First ports of call for any thirsty skier – piste side – are well-known hot spots like Taps, Moosewirt and Krazy Kanguruh before heading out to Anton bar, conveniently located in close proximity to the Galzig lift. It won’t take long before the booze has warmed the cockles of your heart and gone straight to your shoes – lots of ski boot dancing on tables to be enjoyed here. And if you are still going strong long after dinner time, you can head out to Kandahar and party the night away until breakfast the next morning.
- Val d’Isére, France
Known for its legendary skiing days and larger than life post ski nights, Val has some of the best all round après ski action on and off the slopes. Prop your skis up right outside the Saloon Bar as you come off the slopes, but if you are after a good old fashioned mojito or 6, then its Victors you are going to want to get to. Right about this time you will be in the need of some decent blotting paper to mop up your cocktail o’clock sins, so head out to the super slick 1789 and feast on our favourite favourite – a cote de boeuf cooked to perfection on an open fire – before heading out to Dick’ Tea Bar to finish the night off properly.
- Breckenridge, Colorado
North American ski resorts don’t enjoy the same reputation for après ski as those of Europe. There is one that seriously bucks the trend though and that is Breckenridge in Colorado. This authentic mining town in the Ten Mile Range of the Rocky Mountains is a historic charm with plenty of facilities to pursue Dionysian pleasures after a day on the excellent slopes. Nightlife veritably buzzes in “Breck” with a great range of bars and clubs to choose to make merry. Whether you want a quiet drink, thumping music, cocktails or even artisan beer (Breckenbridge has a brewery), you’ll find it here. Check out Cecilia’s on main street – this is a Breck institution.
- Courmayeur, Italy
Courmayeur has a delightfully active après ski scene and with more than 50 excellent restaurants scattered all over the village alone, the after-party atmosphere is a hard act to follow. There are a number of upmarket wine bars and cosy pubs throughout and if you have come for a quiet drink, best be prepared to be disappointed. Packed to capacity, the atmosphere is electric and excited. Start the night off as you come off the slopes by heading to the ever popular Bar Roma – super slick and upmarket – for some of the best local Italian wine or bitterly cold beer. If you are after something a bit more intimate then you can curl up in front of a blazing log fire at Caffe della Posta with a nice bottle of red wine and some friends before heading out for dinner. And after that, the night is but a peach and you can rock out at one of the many bars and clubs in the village.
- Méribel, France
Meribel is legendary for its big night out every night of the week- and not just reserved for weekend revelry. And if you have come here to experience the very best powder days and long hours of tracking in the slopes as well as the après ski scene – this is one place you will not be disappointed. The main bar at Meribel is Rond Point – which has a fantastically convenient ski in and ski out facility as well as a delightfully generous helping of happy hours to go with it. Sip on your vin chaud and make new friends as they start coming off the slope and when you head out for a delicious fondue later all happy and smiling, it will be the beginning of a magical night.
Apres ski is a rite of passage for any discerning skier and if you have come off the slopes, you have earned your drinking stripes for sure – from beginners to advanced. It would definitely be a waste to miss out on the fun.